The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 11, 2001


Fire burns over five acres on Towle Field trail

Tuesday night, May 8, Carlisle firefighters struggled with the dark side of the lovely dry weather citizens have enjoyed for the past few weeks, as a brush fire threatened the tinder-dry woodlands at town-owned Towle Field. It took just over an hour, until 9:07 p.m. for 20 firefighters from Carlisle and two Westford firefighters who accompanied a loaned “brush truck,” to bring the fire under control, but the department had to remain at the scene until almost 1 a.m., to ensure the fire was out. Firemen returned several times on Wednesday to check again that the fire had not rekindled.

About five acres of woods on a trail toward the Bingham Road end of the property were involved, according to Deputy Chief David Flannery of the Carlisle Fire Department. The first word came from residents of 300 Concord Street, who reported detecting smoke at or near Towle Field. However, firefighters at first could find no sign of fire until, returning to the station, they saw smoke behind the home of the Mark family at 328 Concord Street.

The fire was burning far behind the house, so water from a tanker in the street had to be pumped by a pumper truck in the backyard about 800 feet into the woods, where smaller hoses were used to fight the fire. Further complicating the firefighters’ task was descending darkness, requiring them to set up a lighting system to guide them through the woods. Mrs. Mark reported that firefighters also had to make their way past a swimming pool and over a somewhat unstable pile of stones recently erected as a barrier for a newly installed septic system.

According to Flannery, the fire appears to have started on the trail at the southerly end of the Towle Field property, leading him to suspect a lit cigarette as the cause.

The town of Westford also sent a truck to cover at the Carlisle fire station while Carlisle’s crew was fighting the Towle Field fire.


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